Candidate for Regional Director CREA

I’m running for the position of board member Regional Director for BC for the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  Below is my official platform after edits suggested by CREA lawyers.

My name is Scott Simmons. I’m a REALTOR® on Salt Spring Island BC. If you go to the REALTOR.ca site and put in Salt Spring Island BC on the “find a REALTOR®” tab you will not find me. Even though I have been a REALTOR® here for 10 years and only work on Salt Spring Island. I have repeatedly asked my local board to fix this glitch and they won’t. During listing presentations the sellers usually tell me that the other REALTORS® have stated that if they list with me none of the other REALTORS® will show their home. Do you think this goes well for consumer confidence?

The good news is this does not bother me. Business is good. Real good. Consumers want what I offer besides my low commission. They like my web sites; 55 pages, 136 blog post, 700 plus videos, videos of my TV show, hundreds of podcast of my radio real estate show and 1000 plus daily micro blog post. Adversity makes one work harder to succeed.

I’m running for the CREA board because of the threat to the industry I see coming down the road. It seems to me that so many REALTORS® do not see the threat and or want to talk about it. Somehow they are hoping it will go away and they can keep going until retirement. Some in the industry hope to stave off the threat by hoarding the sold data. This will not work, it will only speed up the disintermediation process.

The threat to the industry is lack of relevancy, confidence and trust towards REALTORS® by the consumers. So many consumers do not want to use the services of a REALTOR®. They view REALTORS® as the problem, not the people with the solutions. It seems to me many view REALTORS® as sales people more interested in their commissions than helping anyone. Instead of working with a REALTOR® consumers want to drive the process by themselves. Organized Real Estate has to re-invent our service bundles and how we present them. We have to work at creating a system that will make us relevant trusted advisors in this digital era. 54

Let’s start with the sold data. What is the big disadvantage of not giving this data out? Why are boards suing web sites that publish this data? How do you think consumers view this? Probably as well as they view agents who say they are not going to show my listings. Are these action winning the trust of the consumers? I think not. Why not let consumers write reviews about the homes and REALTORS® on the REALTOR.ca site. Why do you think so many go to TripAdvisor? They go there to read reviews from other consumers. Consumers do not trust travel agents opinions on places to stay. Does anyone even use a travel agent anymore? We need to build things like online reviews and price history into our Realtor.ca site. Why not embrace the change and give consumers what they want? Why are we fighting this? Are we winning?

The social media peer to peer era we live in is not going away. If we keep doing what we are doing for the next few years it will be the end of all the REALTORS®, boards and associations. Disintermediation is going to happen. The question is do we want a hard landing or a long slow landing with a niche for REALTORS® carved out. Look at how fast Uber and AirBnB have changed their markets. What is the value of a cab licence now? Embracing change is never easy. Fighting change is a losing proposition.

Vote for me and you have a pragmatic champion of the changes you might not like but need. Vote for the status quo and you will get what you have. Good luck with that. Change is never easy but I do think it’s time to embrace change. It’s time to get our collective heads out of the sand and face these challenges head on. Sitting still makes us a stagnant target. We needed to embrace online consumer engagement. Consumers want to engage and we should not miss the opportunity to give them the platform to engage on. If we do not they will be engaging on the Zillow type platform and we may end up on the outside looking in.

Vote for Scott Simmons Salt Spring Island BC

Sincerely,

Scott Simmons

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